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Dakota Inn Oktoberfest: Detroit’s Take on the German Tradition

An unassuming Bavarian-style restaurant is sure to be a good time

The bar inside Dakota Inn Rathskeller

Drive down John R between 6 Mile and 7 Mile and you will see a building that stands out from the others, of German architecture and a massive façade that reads “Dakota Inn Rathskeller” in large, glowing red letters. Every Friday and Saturday night from late September through October, Dakota Inn’s Oktoberfest is some of the most fun and most delicious food you can find.

Originally opening in 1933, Dakota Inn has gained popularity for their celebration of Oktoberfest, a 200-year-old German tradition that has since gained global acclaim as a singing and drinking extravaganza. But what makes Dakota Inn’s celebration unique are three distinct things.

The Food and Drink

The menu isn’t extensive, but the German food you can order is tremendous. From the traditional bratwurst and spaetzle to the more unique rueben soup, there is nothing bad you can order. Personally, I recommend the Bavarian Bratwurst and upgrading the sides to include the soup. From the drink side, you can’t go wrong during Dakota Inn’s Oktoberfest. Almost every German beer is a good option.

The Music

This is unquestionably the best part of the night. Starting at 8 p.m. the German band will take the stage at the back of the restaurant to play traditional German songs, many of which you will likely recognize, including the Chicken Dance. The sweet sounds of the accordion reverberate throughout the restaurant and provide an ambiance you have never experienced!

If there is one sing-along to join, it is Schnitzelbank, sung entirely in German and always saved for the end of the performance.

The People

Finally, a party is truly made by the people that partake. Every Friday and Saturday night during Oktoberfest will be crowded with regulars who look forward to this for months. The middle of the restaurant becomes a classical German dance floor during the musical performance as laughter and cheers ring.

In Conclusion…

The beer will be flowing and the singing will be boisterous. The Dakota Inn Oktoberfest is one Detroit tradition that is sure to be a good time for any young professional that is interested in trying something new.

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